Philly/Brooklyn-based Clap Your Hands Say Yeah dropped the exclamation point from the name with the latest album, Hysterical, and returned to what worked on their first album.
The internets were abuzz when they self-produced, self-released, self-promoted, and self-distributed, their self-titled debut album in 2005. Two years later, they released Some Loud Thunder with less fanfare and suffered the clichÃ©d sophomore slump. The album had some catchy tunes, but overall it was flawed. The songs were not as polished and Ounsworthâ€™s voice was drowned out by poor synthetic sounds and hollow lyrics.
Fast-forward five years to their latest release, Hysterical. The band starts with a punch in â€œSame Mistake.â€ The song could be about anything to anyone, and thatâ€™s the point. Lessons are learned, passed down to others, but people make the same mistakes. â€œAnd shouts behind the factory, at first frightening, but itâ€™s just kids beginning to make the same mistakes.â€ Itâ€™s an impressive dance-your-pants-off song that will get the party started in any setting. Further down the line in â€œIdiot,â€ Ounsworthâ€™s howling, haunting voice fills the vacuum that existed on Some Loud Thunder. â€œKetamine And Ecstasyâ€ takes the album to itâ€™s knees in three-and-a-half minutes and puts to rest any thought that the band was a one-album success story.
They play, record, and release their own music at a high-level of production and talent that is, in and of itself, a feat in the current music industry. The exclamation point may be gone, but the thrill of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah remains.
Hysterical is out now.